Saturday, April 30, 2016

There’s a video for that Google App

Richard Byrne has created a series videos to answer (almost) any Google question.   From voice typing  to using reminders- there are over 100 brief videos. You can find them on his YouTube channel here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Need the time?

Use the online stopwatch to help you (and your students) keep track of the day.  This would work on an interactive whiteboard or as part of a station.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Need a quick poll? Use classroom!

There have been polling applications around for a while (Poll Everywhere comes to mind) yet now you can do a quick poll in Google Classroom.  Just use the question feature and use the multiple choice option.  Here’s a quick screenshot overview from LaJean Elder.

Heads or tails?

This is a really simple website- as easy as flipping a coin!  Think about how you could give your students choice (Would you rather do this or that) by flipping a coin,

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Think of a virtual abacus

The Number Rack is an online abacus that might help some of your visual learners master their math skills.  Click the I at the bottom of the page to see all the directions.  This might work well as a station or perhaps on an interactive whiteboard.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Math resources for the K-8 set

If you are looking for a variety of math resources, Check out Sheppard Software!   There are a variety of games for grade levels K-8- here’s a screenshot of a fruit game (click on the fruit with the correct answer- you can change the speed as well as the difficulty).

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Chew on this ( Paper Slide Video)

Rose Griggs and Vicki Kilpatrick's 6th-grade ELA class is reading Chew on This- to show their understanding, they created paper slides on specific chapters.  What a great way to check for understanding and allowing students creativity.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Engineering Games

Here’s a site with a variety of engineering related games.  Engineering Games is designed for games 3-12.  The categories are not limited to engineering but also include logic, robots, and electricity.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quizlet goes live!

I know many of you use Quizlet to prepare study materials for your students.  Today I saw an email announcing their new live feature (sort of reminded me of Kahoot or Quizizz except there seems to be more of a team concept (in that respect, the space race in Socrative came to mind).

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Making it different for all

Use The Differentiator to modify and create your objectives. From thinking skills, to products, to groups, use the drop down menus to modify your objective to meet the needs of your learners.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Monday, April 18, 2016

It’s not too late for Earth Day

Since we are in the testing zone, it is easy to forget about Earth Day (Friday, 4/22).  But it’s not too late.  Discovery Education is sponsoring a twitter chat where you can ask the experts!  Before the event, watch the Expedition Earth Day and explore the activities with your students.  

For complete information on the video and the twitter chat, please click here.

From Vicki Davis ( to help you finish strong)

From my email this morning- from Vicki Davis (coolcatteacher)- you can read her blog here.

As you plan your week next week, here are five quick, cool ideas:
1. Student Created Test Prep
If you have lots of vocabulary or concepts to review, split them up among your class. Try the PacMan Quiz Generator or Arcade Game Generator at (both free). Have the students make the games. Then, set your timer. Let students play each other's test prep games, switching seats every 5-10 minutes. Make it a game and have fun.
If this doesn't work for you or you don't have enough devices. Have students createKahoots in pairs with questions and pictures. Younger kids could log into a test prep account you create. Older students can make their accounts and share it with you on the share tab. (I did this with SAT prep a few years back. The kids ask to do SAT words on the last day of school! What a blast!)
2. Test New Procedures
My friend Angela Watson has a fantastic show where she talks about why this time of year is the best time to try out new procedures. I've been doing this and IT WORKS. Improve your procedures NOW and let your students give you input. You can solve behavior issues and improve things for next year at the same time. Genius idea!
3. Teach Film Making with This Quick Project
When I did this project, it changed everything about how I as a teacher understood filmmaking and taught my students at the same time. Start with a film glossary. Using a highlighter have students highlight the kinds of shots mentioned. Have them research each shot. For younger students, you could have them draw illustrations or take photographs.
For my eighth graders, I have them make a living shot dictionary using film. They take the shot with their phones, upload and edit it to put the type of shot in the movie. We pull them together and have a film to show future classes about the camera angles and film shots. The practice of shooting different angles gets them to think this way. Our living shot dictionary is a fantastic, fun, end of year project that I do every single year with my eighth graders.
4. Test Gamification
Now is the perfect time to try out a tool like Classcraft or test a game-based curriculum like Zombie-Based Learning (try their free Geography Lesson.) Or listen to teacher Michael Matera talk about how he gamified his classroom and pick up his book and try some new ideas. After testing is a very good time to test this emerging and very fun strategy that I now adore.
If these sound like too much, just have some paper plate awards. Get paper plates, markers and review some of your work you've done this year and create random, fun awards on the spot. I do this with film. Kids love them. [Listen to how I do this.]
5. Plan a Portfolio Project

Here's a sample of one of my portfolio projects. Take a look at my older students' personal website projects. The year end is a perfect time for portfolios! [Listen to Suzie Boss talkabout good project based learning as you design yours.]

Sunday, April 17, 2016

How to help students search

“I cannot find it!” (please hear this in a slightly cranky voice)- sound familiar?  Is your student looking for images/information/sites?  This year I ‘ve noticed an increase in this cry- and I think it is related to their selection of search terms.  This morning I read this blog post from Richard Byrne (from Free Technology for Teachers)  and used it with some third graders.  The students were more successful (and I was less stressed).  Check out his options and select the one that work best for your students.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Class Tools Blog

I have been a big fan of Classtools for many years. There are so many free and unique resources (Fakebook is one of my favorites along with the fake twitter and sms tools).  Now Russel Tarr has a blog to go with it!  Read how he using the tools in his history class- and I know you will be able to adapt them for your content and learners.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here,

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Little Stars make drawings come alive!

Mrs. McNamara invited me to join her 4-year-old class this week.  Using the augmented reality app Quiver EDU, the students colored pictures and then used the iPads to help them come to life. I had a great time (and the students looked like the enjoyed it as well!).

Everything you always wanted to know about

Pinterest is here in this online guide for educators.  I’ve seen many teachers take advantages of the collobroative proejcts and suggestions shared on the site.  From how to curate , whom to follow, and how to use- this site has it all.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The words we use

We all know praise is important- but after you watch this brief video, you will see how what we praise can make a difference.  I read Carol Dweck's book last summer - very interesting.  Special thanks to Vicki Davis for sharing this today.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Science resources

I really love the material prepared by Mosa Mack Science- but it is not a free site (and I don’t have the funds to purchase).  But you can use the free material (as well as try one lesson for free).  Linked to NextGen science standards,you can access the free parts.   This is geared to grades 4-8.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

So you want a brochure

Alice Keeler’s blog post might convince you otherwise (click here for her alternative suggestions). But if you decide you really need to have one (or have your students create one), keep reading for her template.  You can copy it and share it with your students.  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

If you are even thinking of texting…

This simulation from the New York Times will convince your students not to text and drive.  Try to change lanes and text at the same time!  I will not tell you how many crashes I had!  This came from Richard Byrne’s  Free Technology for Teachers.

Friday, April 8, 2016

SBT gives the weather report!

StoryboardThat  is a great tool for letting your students show what they know!  Lisa Payne’s fourth-grade class recently used the site to demonstrate their understanding of weather reports!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Journaling with Google Docs?

If your students are using Google Docs for journal entries, you might want to explore the new outline feature (see Alice Keeler’s blog post here).  Using heading, the outline feature (which you can view on the left side of the screen) updates automatically (and doesn’t need to be refreshed like the Table of Contents feature).

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Science for everyone!

Want to see how science connects with everything in your world?  Then subscribe to It’s Okay to be Smart. Taken from the blog of the same name, see how science connects with art, history- well with everything! I’ve posted the first video here.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Grit? Growth Mindset?

Want to teach your kids grit?  How about how to help them embrace a growth mindset?  Lots of tools and suggestions here at  With Math I Can.  There are ideas for all learners (and it is not limited to just math).

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Give me a sign!

Need a sign?  How a about  your name in lights or with a Dr. Seuss character?  Sign Generator gives you these options. The only way I could save was using a screenshot (and then editing it to size).  

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Growth mindet (for the Dojo set)

I’ve seen Class Dojo in many classrooms- what I didn’t know is this series about developing a growth mindset.  It includes a series of five short videos along with discussion questions for class (as well as a take-home activity). I’ve included the first one here to help you get a flavor for the site.

For the complete post from TeachersFirst, please click here.